Showtime in Zhuhai

Alan Warnes was at the Zhuhai Airshow where China’s advanced fighters were the main attraction alongside a burgeoning family of unmanned aerial vehicles.

Intel Report

This year’s Zhuhai Airshow (officially the China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition) was barely recognisable compared with previous iterations of the show, which was first held in 1996. As of the early 2000s, this was a small affair with few aircraft in attendance and, to make matters worse, the weather was often poor.

The event that took place from November 6-12 was undoubtedly the best to date. Not only was the weather excellent, if a little hazy at times, but there were over 200 aircraft in the static display, covering everything from general aviation, airliners and business jets, to unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and military types. There were also two People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) aerobatic teams – August 1 flying eight J-10s and the less familiar Red Falcon (Hongying) team comprising eight JL-8s, more commonly known as the K-8 Karakorum outside China. Surprisingly, there were no Russian aerobatic teams this year, so the air display predominantly featured Chinese aircraft.

The domestic military didn’t sup…

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